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I have to build a wireless sensor network with arduinos on my project. It does not need to be a mesh network, but it needs to have self healing capabilities.

I would like to use something cheaper than XBees. I tried the NRF24L01 with maniacbug's, TMRh20's and MySensors' libraries. However they aren't solving the problem and I'm wasting a ton of time trying to figure out how to make them work.

Another thing, I need a lot of repeater nodes between the base and the sensors because the office is 2 km far from the monitoring area and some of these libraries have a limitation of 5 level deep network, so I'd have max 4 repeaters between the base and sensor, which is bad.

And the last, my project is going to be fine with 15 sensors for now, but it'll have 500-1000 nodes in a couple of months and most of these libraries assign 8 bit addresses (256 nodes), which does not cover that amount of nodes.

What do you suggest?

  • FYI Maniacbug did not write RF24Mesh, TMRh20 did. – Avamander Jan 21 '16 at 20:43
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A few thoughts:

  1. For ~$20 per unit, the 1mW Digimesh modules will take care of reliable mesh networking plus provide a high degree of configurability and scalability. Depending on the budget for your sensor nodes this might be better than "wasting a ton of time" messing with bare-bones hardware and third party code.

  2. Constrain the mesh network within the "monitoring area" and set up dedicated point-to-point links (with higher power and directional antennae) between it and your office. Set up two or three if you want redundancy.

  3. If you can't afford better hardware but have time to spare, consider reading up on mesh protocols and implementing one you think best fits your project. Many of them are reasonably simple if you are not pushing for maximum efficiency or performance.

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